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The Devil to Pay

Title: The Devil to Pay
Setting: AU Post-NFA. Spike’s back, Buffy knows about it, and they are in San Francisco. Not comics-compliant.
Rating: PG-13 for smokin’, drinkin’, and implied casual smexytimes
Words: 493
Note: Angsty Pre- and Post-Spuffy. I guess you could call it Inter-Spuffy. Setting is modeled on my very favorite bar in the whole world, which is notably NOT in San Francisco and has a train station instead of a trolley stop.

***

It’s after last call and Buffy’s done wiping down the counters for the last time and she’s dragged the black garbage bag full of empties out to the dumpster without ripping it for once. She’s standing outside the now-locked door, the fence around the patio rough through the back of her little black tank top. She’s watching the moths make drunken circles as they veer closer and closer to the lights in the parking lot, listening to the man standing with her as he talks about nothing, laughing in all the right places.

Spike can tell that’s she’s not really there. It’s subtle—nine months of pulling pints for tips have taught her how to seem engaged—but Spike knows her better. Knows in every sense of the word. He’s sitting in his usual spot across the street by the trolley stop, keeping out of sight, chain-smoking. She knows he’s there, and he knows she knows, but she’s defensive about it, and the one time he came into the bar the bouncer had to pull her off him. (Musclebound fellow got a broken nose for his trouble, too. This makes Spike chuckle.) Later, on her way home, she’ll walk over and say hello, call him a stalker, tell him to find something else to do, and maybe they will have a real conversation. She’ll tell him how in six months, or a year, she will have enough saved to open the martial arts school she’s been dreaming of. Or maybe she’ll get in the car with the drunken pillock she’s talking to right now. Sometimes she does that. Those nights Spike looks for something to kill.

She’s finally managed to walk away, to have her normal life, him and Dawn the Baby Watcher her only ties to the life that she had been chosen for. And he’s not the vampire he was when he used to lurk outside her window, smoking and watching, in Sunnydale. He should let go. It would be healthier for both of them. But still he watches. He can’t rid himself of hope any more than he could his shiny new soul.
Buffy follows the man to his beat-up blue Pontiac and waits while he gets in and slides over to unlock the passenger door. (Smarmy bastard can’t even open the door for his lady.) As the car glides smoothly onto the street and past the trolley station, Spike’s eyes catch Buffy’s through the window for a moment. She quickly looks away.

Spike drops his half-finished cigarette and slowly, purposefully grinds its ember out with his heel. He heads for the seedy side of town, suddenly feeling a powerful need to hunt. He wonders when he will stop letting her drive new nails into his heart, even as he knows the answer is “not ever.” When she figures out what she wants, he’ll be there.
And if, in the meantime, some idiot hurts the girl, well, he’ll be there too.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
slaymesoftly
Oct. 26th, 2012 08:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, how ouchie for both of them. Buffy doesn't seem happy, and poor Spike!
rebcake
Oct. 26th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't be surprised if this bleak option got its tryout, but much as Buffy talks "normalcy", she doesn't ever seem to really enjoy it for long. Spike can afford to play the long game, but it's going to cost him.

Nicely done.
hello_spikey
Oct. 26th, 2012 10:12 pm (UTC)
*whimper*

Poor wibbles! So unhappy! So angsty!

Very well done. I'll just imagine the warm huggy times when Buffy comes to her senses!

spuffy_luvr
Oct. 26th, 2012 10:31 pm (UTC)
Oh, that hurts. I wonder if she goes home with the men to make a point with her stalker-vampire, or if she's just that hurting and lonely and trying too hard for normalcy?
zanthinegirl
Oct. 27th, 2012 07:41 am (UTC)
Oh ouch. You did warn me! I'm a fan of the angst but it does mean I have to look for the bright side. the bleak side here of course is that this senario is so very, very believable. But I'm going to cling to your "inter-spuffy" and believe that Buffy will realize how unhappy her Normal Life is making her and start having fun with Spike again.
quinara
Oct. 27th, 2012 04:40 pm (UTC)
I really like the mood you set in this little piece - even if I'm definitely going to imagine a happy post-script!
annapurna_2
Oct. 27th, 2012 07:17 pm (UTC)
Oh, way to make it hurt...but in a beautifully poignant way. It's so quintessentially Spuffy. Things can never be easy for them. ::pets them both::

Spike drops his half-finished cigarette and slowly, purposefully grinds its ember out with his heel. He heads for the seedy side of town, suddenly feeling a powerful need to hunt. He wonders when he will stop letting her drive new nails into his heart, even as he knows the answer is “not ever.” When she figures out what she wants, he’ll be there.
And if, in the meantime, some idiot hurts the girl, well, he’ll be there too.


And you know he will be. ::sniffle::
readerjane
Oct. 28th, 2012 01:50 am (UTC)
Oh, ow, my heart.

Makes me want to knock their heads together. Which, since they're superbeings, could shake some sense into them without serious injury. *g*
shapinglight
Oct. 30th, 2012 01:44 pm (UTC)
Poor Spike! That's hard to watch.
waddiwasiwitch
Oct. 31st, 2012 12:28 am (UTC)
I could so imagine this happening. Buffy with her yearning for normal and Spike being hopeful.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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